by Alina Sandor
Pregnancy isn't only a time for treats for two, it's also a time to treat poor, swollen feet. Here are some of the best, homemade foot soaks that will sooth away those third trimester blues.
Peppermint Honey Feet Treat
Provided by Christopher Watt, spokesperson for the National Honey Board and aesthetician to the stars
Watt says this treatment, "...aids in circulation of overworked feet. Moisturizes and softens while it soothes and restores tired aching feet."
4 tsp. grated beeswax
2 tsp. honey
2 tsp. fresh mint, optional
6 drops peppermint essential oil
2 drops arnica oil
2 drops camphor oil
2 drops eucalyptus oil
Rinse mint leaves and place on a paper towel to dry. Grind mint using coffee grinder (or by hand using mortar and pestle). Set aside. Melt beeswax using a small double boiler. In a microwave safe glass bowl combine aloe vera gel and honey, mix well. Stir in beeswax. Let cool. Add mint and oils stirring until completely mixed.
Apply after bath or shower to entire feet and toes. Store remaining feet treat covered in cool place away from sun or heat.
Harvest Pumpkin Exfoliating Mask
Also provided by Christopher Watt
"Pumpkin enzymes dissolve dead skin cells while the cornmeal sweeps them clean," says Watt. "Honey has antimicrobial properties as well as moisturizes and softens. The result is a beautiful glowing complexion! Use this mask as often as you like."
1 Tbsp. honey
4 tsp. cornmeal
2 tsp. aloe vera gel
2 tsp. pineapple, diced
1 tsp. green tea
½ tsp. sunflower oil
6 drops frankincense essential oil (optional)
4 drops cinnamon extract (optional)
Steep green tea in boiling water. Set aside to cool. In blender or food processor puree pineapple and place in medium-sized mixing bowl. Add pumpkin, honey and aloe. Mix well. Stir in sunflower oil, green tea and cornmeal. Discard the remaining green tea. Add frankincense and cinnamon. Stir.
Apply small amount of pumpkin mask to feet. Massage in circular motions gently buffing skin.
Repeat. Apply more product as needed. Leave a thin layer of pumpkin mask on feet for 15-20 minutes.
Rinse with tepid or cool water and pat dry with soft towel. Follow with appropriate moisturizer. Store remaining mask covered in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Grandma's Sicilian Remedy
Some of the best feet treats are handed down from a wise family member. "This may sound a little crazy," says Stacy Ann Gulisano, Communications Manager, "but my great grandmother had this old Sicilian home remedy she swore worked on all things swollen."
Crushed eucalyptus leaves
Snow or crushed ice
In a jar put the olive oil, crushed eucalyptus leaves, and snow or ice, and mix. Rub on feet for a soothing cool treat. Stays fresh in the freezer for a year.
Chamomile-Mustard Seed Footbath
Provided by surgeon-turned luxury shoe designer, Taryn Rose
"Chamomile is a calming essential oil," says Rose, "and can also reduce swelling in sore feet. The warm water and mustard seed create a heating quality which may help to relieve headaches as well as comfort the feet."
Freshly ground mustard seed
Fill basin (large enough to comfortably house both of your feet) with comfortably hot water. Add one teaspoon of freshly ground mustard seed for every gallon of warm water. Add three to four drops of chamomile oil for every half-gallon of water. Place a few fresh chamomile flowers in the basin and swirl the water with your hand to blend the mixture.
Put your feet in the bath and wrap a thick towel over the basin (to retain the heat). Soak for about 20 minutes. Remove your feet from the footbath and, with upward strokes, massage them with your favorite lotion infused with a few drops of chamomile oil.
Cool Lavender Foot Bath, Massage, and Compress
Provided by Jennifer Davidson Dowd, CYT (Certified Yoga Teacher) & Certified Aroma Therapist
Lavender is not only good for soothing headaches. These treatments will have your feet melting in your hands...or someone else's. "If you are in your 3rd trimester," says Davidson, "have your partner or friend do the massage since you probably can't reach your feet!"
Cool Lavender Foot Bath:
Draw a foot bath of cool water adding 5-6 drops of lavender oil. Soak feet for 10 minutes.
Lavender Oil Massage:
Add 8-10 drops of lavender oil to 8 oz. of almond or grape seed oil. You can also add a few drops of lavender oil to your favorite body lotion. Massage feet, ankles, and calves.
Cool Lavender Compresses:
Wet a cotton handkerchief or wash cloth with cool water so that it is damp and add 2-3 drops of lavender oil. Apply to feet, ankles and calves.
Tip: Keep a lavender compress in a Ziploc bag with ice cubes in your purse ready to use anytime throughout the hot summer.
Copyright © Alina Sandor. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.